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RodgerS

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I think Raspy and I have a mind meld.

 

Could be. And I've spent most of the last 50 years in the Bay Area. Not all, but most. A period in Hawaii and lots of time in Nevada over the years. Now rooted permanently in Nevada and loving it. Retired end of last year. Whew!

 

 


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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After my retirement I found that every day I have the equivalent of time available I use to have every two weeks. So, my time expanded.

Also, every day I have lots of things I like to do, so I’m not missing out on anything.

 

Since retirement our days have been busy and full. To think for over 40 years we only had weekends is amazing.

 

Welcome to the group, Rodger, and enjoy the purchase journey of both a truck and trailer. Lots of good advice and well meaning folks here so take advantage! Mike


Mike and Carol Thompson | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX


The Lone Star Oliver #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi


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RodgerS -

You might want to send a PM (private message) to "Bugeyedriver" on this Forum to ask what he thinks about the Tacoma and its abilities with the single axel Elite. Pete had well over 100,000 miles towing his Elite with a Tacoma.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Update 1:

The wife and I spent 5 hours discussing this, looking at videos, and demoing trucks. Conclusions:

a) Honda Ridgeline - No

b) Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 - No

c) Ford Ranger - Not relevant.

d) All 1/2 ton trucks - No

e) Mercedes Sprinter and Metris Vans - No

f) Toyota Tacoma - Go

g) Oliver Elite or Elite II - Go.

 

Wife has decided to accompany husband on his trips as long as the trailer fits on the driveway.

 

Next update after I purchase the Toyota within the next three months.

 

By being patient, letting my wife think about it for the last 5 years, she has come around after listening to me tell her several times

that I will travel with or without her. She loves to do photography.

 

Yes, time is, in fact, on my side.

 

Tomorrow I drive 1.5 hours to see a current owner's 2016 Elite II.

 

Rodger

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Congratulations, you are making good progress.

 

You canNOT pull an Elite II with a Tacoma in the mountains, but you would be just OK in Florida. Don't fall in love with the II without also upgrading the capabilities of your future truck.

 

If you can stand an SUV, consider a used, low miles (less than 100K)  2013 or later Land Cruiser: HIGHLY capable off-road, stellar build quality, sumptuous interior, same brute drivetrain as the Tundra. Big downside is the terrible fuel economy. If you keep it stock, you can see 18mpg highway, low down and flat terrain, unladen. Any mods like LT tires will drop this figure significantly. I get 16 hwy, 10 to 12 towing the II. Your mileage would be a little better with the lighter trailer. Your wife would LOVE traveling in one. There are at least two of us on the Forum with 200s.

 

A used 200 with 100K miles can feel like a new vehicle, the interior materials hold up well, no squeaks or rattles on even the roughest roads. They are built incredibly well and are designed to last 300K miles and 25 years, in any environment in the world.

 

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/Used+Cars/Toyota/Land+Cruiser/Daly+City+CA-94016?zip=94016&listingTypes=used&startYear=2013&numRecords=25&sortBy=relevance&firstRecord=0&endYear=2016&modelCodeList=LC&makeCodeList=TOYOTA&searchRadius=300

 

Keep us informed, please.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

IMG_5064.thumb.jpg.99fc08e3768ae09e31d1f524629d899f.jpg


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I'm curious why you've ruled out a full size truck if you were willing to consider a sprinter. Personally, if I were considering a tow vehicle for an Elite II, I'd start with the new diesel F150 as the default to which other choices would be compared. It's just a great combination of towing ability, fuel efficiency, and range, plus the interior of the crew cab F150's make for incredible road trip vehicles. More space in the back row with the seats folded up than I had in my SUV. Not to mention the towing features - just little things like all the cameras, big mirrors, lane change that accounts for the trailer length, and having the truck keep up with the mileage on the trailer really help. And the trailer backup assist makes things so easy. I just think the hassle of dealing with WD hitches, poor torque, less room for stuff, and less stability on the highway would get old fast. Watching this board and others for the past few years, I've seen other people start out with borderline vehicles that they say are great, but then a year later they've quietly switched to a full size. Of course, if you go with the smaller Elite, then ignore much of what I've said.

 

I'd give it a thought or two if I were you. Neither my wife nor I were crazy about driving a full size truck, but once we both got used to the size we couldn't imagine towing with anything else. She even told me the other day that she might prefer having a truck of her own instead of the little Tesla Model 3 she has a deposit on. People told me that would happen, and these trucks do grow on you that way.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I would NOT use my Tacoma to pull an Elite II. Definitely go bigger. But I wanted a smaller truck and purchased the trailer to fit. Opposite of what most people are encouraged to do. But I am very happy with the small truck and small trailer. And, more importantly, so is my wife.


roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

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Overland and rogue books,

I have reduced the amount of logic and research I rely on and have increased the amount of experience, both mine and others, I rely on. That is why I consider and put out there for thoughts more options and hypotheticals than may make sense to some readers...even nutty or all over the place. My end solutions change regularly as I sleep on the ideas, get forum feedback, gather more experience, chat with my wife, and lay out my hypotheticals... as opposed to just getting er done which would feel really great.

 

My art work is a form of mental traveling and relaxation, I might mention, which is another reason I don't feel hurried. I will be painting some clouds this afternoon.

 

I really like the Mercedes Sprinter Van as I do a Ram 1500 truck. I get that the van is an excellent option for the younger singles and couples for weekend off-pavement activities and DIY is a great way to save $ if time is available or use a custom up fitter if time is not available and $$$ are. I also get that for older couples, a high-end mfg van like a Pleasure Way or Airstream are excellent options for touring. So, I won't toss those options aside until the day I get er done. I also get that for an Elite II it is best to go to a 1/2 ton truck or maybe a land Rover, a diesel, etc.

 

Just don't see a van, 1/2 ton, Land Rover, Elite II, etc as the optimal options for what I want, my wife wants, and blending that together which is tough for me to do right. I spoke to my wife as she was falling asleep last night and was able to get her to understand that a diesel engine, hopefully with an exhaust brake, is an important consideration if we are going to tow any trailer. She was more focused on what I would call secondary factors...she likes the looks of the Tacoma. I did go out and measure my driveway this morning, which as 23.6 feet.

 

My wife is from China and she likes the idea of a small trailer and really doesn't care for 23 feet and up. So, as my first post indicated, something like a ZR2 and Elite could do it for us. Am going to go out and test drive a GMC All Terrain and a Colorado Z71. I really like small trucks and later I will probably turn my 01 Mercedes clx (my current RV) in for a nearly new Posche Macan or some such.

 

Rodger

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Well everyone has different needs, and the important part is that you take your time, weigh the pros and cons, and try to be as brutally honest with yourself about what you need and want. Sounds like you're doing that. We've all been where you are, looking a things from different angles and trying to get all the various bits and pieces of the puzzle in our heads so we can make the right decisions. Many of us spent two or more years figuring it out, and are still making changes, figuring out where we made mistakes, etc. We second guessed our tow vehicle choice a million times and even though we feel like we made the right one for ourselves, we still have moments when we think maybe we should have gone a different direction. Same with the trailer.

 

About the trailer, when you're weighing your options, be sure to give thought to the relative solar and battery capacities of the two, since you want to boondock. That's what made the difference for us, since I think we could happily live within the space of the smaller trailer.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Yes, batteries and solar. Prefer Lithium or AGM batteries.

 

The Chevy Colorado Z71 rides nicer that the Tacoma, has almost 1500 lbs payload and 7,500 lbs towing, 4x4, diesel engine...Without the 2 inches of lift the zr2 has, so much easier to get in and out of.

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Shallow gal,

Your post certainly resonated with me, as several years back I did the old tape measure trick, and to my chagrin, there was much more tape to the left than there was showing on the right - the time I (we) might have left. It was time to make a choice. We have always been explorers, travelers, and like many, getting caught up in the "making a living treadmill", left us knowing things needed changing.

 

With the kids long gone, the house (and almost all the furniture) sold last year, we are transitioning to a life of "just go" and let the future unfold as it may. We downsized many times in the past, but last year was a severe downsizing - if it didn't get used, worn, or looked at in the last 2 months-it was gone. Funny a year later, I don't miss anything. Now we still have some farm and garden stuff, and barn where we rest our head, but, we are at a point, where leaving for long periods of time involves little more than lock the barn door and get in the truck.....

 

We pick up our EII next month, and will ease back into the vagabond lifestyle we enjoyed many years back. Once my better half finally leaves the classroom, life as we know it - turns - around the next bend, and the next.

 

 

20160711_193851.thumb.jpg.432baa3e16040deba8ea6f7d89f60e99.jpg

  • Thanks 1

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" , " Our 4 legged Chessie early warning/protection system".


Home is our little farm near Winchester TN


2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 


"Die young - As late as possible"


 


ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg


 

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...My wife is from China and she likes the idea of a small trailer and really doesn’t care for 23 feet and up...

Rodger

 

Please make sure that your wife understands that trailer lengths are measured from the tip of the tongue to the back of the rear bumper. Their advertised lengths do not reflect actual usable area.

 

The inside of an Elite II will measure about 18 feet while the Elite will be just under 14 feet.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 


 States Visited Map     Map of Provinces I Visited

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Yes, batteries and solar. Prefer Lithium or AGM batteries.

The Chevy Colorado Z71 rides nicer that the Tacoma, has almost 1500 lbs payload and 7,500 lbs towing, 4×4, diesel engine…Without the 2 inches of lift the zr2 has, so much easier to get in and out of.

 

You are discovering the frustrations of picking a TV. I originally wanted a self contained "offroad capable" camper, and I finally convinced myself that I was going to get a high quality truck camper (Northern Light), put it on a 3500 diesel pickup and go exploring.  I bought the truck first, a very nice low miles 2006 Laramie Cummins 5.9, then discovered how horrible it was on rough highways, and it was even worse on potholed forest roads. I put a set of $1200 aftermarket Corbeau suspension seats in it but it still beat us up. I was faced with the unpleasant realization that a truck with a 1200 pound diesel engine riding over the front axle would never ride smoothly enough to please my back, even with a $5000 aftermarket suspension. My wife hated EVERY single aspect of that '06 Ram, and it made for some pretty tense vacation drives.

 

We decided that we would get an Ollie, park it instead of pulling it everywhere off pavement (using it for a base camp), and we tried pulling it for a season with the Ram. While it was effortless in terms of power and braking and got 16 mpgs  towing/ 22 empty, it never felt right and I could not venture off-pavement without turning the two dogs into quivering wrecks.

 

I decided that a TV that performed "adequately" on the highway and did REALLY well (empty) on rough roads was way better than a stellar TV that could just not get off the pavement.... After another jarring trip, my wife showed me an ad that popped up on Autotrader. There was a white 2013 Land Cruiser with tan interior (a rare combination, my favorite) at a local dealer, and would I like to go look at it? My son was visiting and he is a real car nut, and like me, he loves Land Cruisers of any vintage. He is always ready to go watch his dad make a fool of himself or to help him buy another vehicle.

 

The truck was luscious inside and out and I could not believe how well it drove. It had a brute of a drivetrain (381 bhp, 403 ft lbs) and best of all an 8300 pound tow/ 800 hitch rating. I was smitten, and we traded the Ram in on it on the spot. Land Cruisers do not stay long on dealer lots, you have to act very fast. The 200 tows very well considering its short wheelbase, and it pleases my wife in every single way. That is SO important. When running solo, it can tear down a potholed forest road at 40 mph and not shake you around, and it will just go anywhere, without any effort or drama. Point and shoot, you are there.... If it fits, it can go.

 

Rodger, you need to understand that you can not have decent offroad performance and great towing ability in the same vehicle. The requirements are diametrically opposite. A long travel, loose and comfy off-road suspension with lots of ground clearance is the LAST thing you want when towing up to 3.5 tons at freeway speeds.

 

So your basic dilemma is: do I ...

 

Pick a short wheelbase truck that will easily get me around in the CA desert, in comfort and safety, but will struggle with a heavy tongue weight and have hardly any payload left over for all my stuff.....

 

Or pick a long wheelbase truck optimized for towing, and have to suffer from a really harsh ride offroad and get stuck or broken down because the setup is far from ideal....

 

Buying a long wheelbase ZR1 would be very smart in terms of easily towing an Elite, but it is entirely the wrong choice for exploring and boondocking away from the crowds. A difficult decision, made worse by your lack of direct experience offroad. Can you join up with a local Jeep or Land Cruiser 4x4 or Overland club and ask to go along on some rides? That would show you where your personal limits are, and might help you to choose a combination of TV and trailer that will suit your future needs, so you don't end up regretting one of the purchases.

 

I love my 200, if I did not have it I would probably be looking very hard at a lightly used (no offroad) Power Wagon. https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a30282/the-dodge-power-wagon-is-an-irrationally-wonderful-tow-vehicle/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Roger S,

 

FWIW - I built a very nice RV out of a Sprinter - loved everything about it except when it needed service - specifically the diesel engine. Mercedes does a horrible job supporting Sprinters. I towed a 16' tandem axle trailer with it, loaded with several motorcycles and 4 wheelers about 500 miles in fairly level terrain. Was fine, - slow but steady. I would not attempt to tow an EII with a Sprinter much to far, and certainly not in any elevation.

 

I then moved on to a Ford Transit, high roof, 350 XLT, with a 3.5 twin turbo ecobost. Now that is a motor, but the van was right at the tow limits for hauling the EII around, So as much as I liked the van and my conversion, it is gone. For the time being I'll tow the EII with my 2004 GMC 4x4 5.3 stepside (155k miles and counting) Now, I know well the towing limits of this truck, I've hauled tractors on tandem axle trailers for many,many miles, and while the truck does fine, I know I do NOT want to haul the EII around the American West, Canada, and Alaska with it. (I've been all over the west and southeast, I know what a 10000ft + elv., pass does to a fully loaded marginal TV vehicle)

 

Yes a properly equipped modern 1/2 ton truck will haul an EII around fairly well. But I know - from experience, the right tool for the job always makes life much more enjoyable, so I'll be upgrading to a 3/4 ton diesel in the near future. I know well the vehicles you have quoted, good vehicles, but to close to the marginal tow limits for me, to each his own, they would not be my choice.

 

Good luck on your journey, and keeping you SO happy, that is priceless ;-) After 43 years, the phrase "Happy wife, Happy Life" really resonates with me.....

 


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" , " Our 4 legged Chessie early warning/protection system".


Home is our little farm near Winchester TN


2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 


"Die young - As late as possible"


 


ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg


 

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John,

 

Good points.

 

I just happened to already have my Ram 3500 Cummins when we bought the Oliver, so that is what we use. It is very harsh off road, but it tows the trailer so well and so safely, that I will stick with it. The 2500 would have been better because it has coil rear springs or an air suspension option. Also, having a pickup allows so much gear to be hauled in the tow vehicle while not being inside with us. Gas cans, bikes, a bar-b-que, tools, wheel chocks, etc All stuff I don't want in Ollie or in the car with me.

 

If I was to buy another TV, it would probably be a Ram1500 Eco or Hemi with the off-road package that includes air suspension with adjustable ride height. That will go just about anywhere I want to go and tow Ollie to many of those places, while riding well and carrying gear outside.

 

I would not recommend any first or second year trucks with diesel engines until they have the bugs, if any, worked out. Diesels are now not what they used to be with the very complicated emissions equipment that will send the truck into limp mode if anything goes wrong.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Rodger, you need to understand that you can not have decent offroad performance and great towing ability in the same vehicle. The requirements are diametrically opposite. A long travel, loose and comfy off-road suspension with lots of ground clearance is the LAST thing you want when towing up to 3.5 tons at freeway speeds.

 

I think that might be true if you substitute "extreme offroad performance" in place of "decent".


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John,

You sum up the contradictions in finding the perfect TV/RV/Off-road/HI-way vehicle very well. I too started out with an off road capable RV mind set, and after way to much consideration, evolved to the EII with an off road capable TV. However, I'll pick at one point, the ride of modern 3/4 ton diesel powered truck - its much nicer than you may have experienced. I held a very similar opinion, having owned a 2007 GMC 3/4 ton Duramax, had to put 500lbs in bed to just to tame the ride.

 

Now, I just recently rode around in a 2018 Ford 3/4 ton, extra cab (or what ever they call it..) fully loaded out, diesel, huge towing specs. It was an amazing ride, no comparison to my previous big truck. I went looking for bad road, potholes, etc. just amazing. So, when I get over the price they want for these things, I may end up with one. Used, low mileage 2017/2018 ones are as scarce as hens teeth, and priced accordingly. Quite honestly wish I can get my old GMC there, but, I know its not worth the upkeep and effort.

 

As for my dog, he doesn't care, as long as he's riding, he's happy. Course, the older I get, the more I'm like him, simple things make the day.

 

 

cameraGif_1494538766082.thumb.gif.00de364352f257912b9c66ea3bc149ad.gif


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" , " Our 4 legged Chessie early warning/protection system".


Home is our little farm near Winchester TN


2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 


"Die young - As late as possible"


 


ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg


 

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If I have to buy a 1/2, 3/4, or one ton truck OR a big SUV to pull an Oliver Elite reasonably safely and reasonably acceptably, it is good bye to owning an Oliver Elite...seriously, dead deal.

 

By any definition, I'm talking about decent fire trail off-roading, not extreme or any rock crawling...initially chose the ZR2 by mistake...the Z71 is more my style.

 

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Unless someone can point out a serious flaw in combining a Chevy Colorado Z71 with an Oliver Elite, I think this thread has reached its natural outcome.

 

Nicely done, great discussion, great input!

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For an Elite, I think it's a good choice, and will be perfectly fine offroad.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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For an Elite you’d be fine with a Tacoma or similar size truck. Pete (Bugeyedriver) towed his over 100K miles with a Tacoma. Heck, I towed my Elite II with a 2012 Tacoma for over 5,000 miles with no issues. There will always be “bigger is better” advice, but in the end the Elite is small enough that you don’t need a huge truck. Mike


Mike and Carol Thompson | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX


The Lone Star Oliver #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi


ALAZARCACOFLGAILKSKYLAMDMSMONVNMNYNCOHOKSCTNTXUTVAWVsm.jpg

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Thanks for the comments.

 

"Bigger is better" is always solid advice when it comes to towing camping trailers and "when it comes to tow vehicles, you want the dog to wag the tail not the tail wagging the dog."

 

 

 

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The couple parked next to us at the Hiawassee rally was pulling their Elite II with a diesel Canyon or Colorado (sorry I can’t recall which). They claimed it did a fine job.

 

Based on this information, pulling an Elite should prove to be a spectacular combination. And very cool, in my opinion.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 


 States Visited Map     Map of Provinces I Visited

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